Be Your Authentic Self
Is It Authentic for YOU?
So many inauthentic dreams and lofty expectations are fostered by our society. Like you have to be some "big deal”, or achieve something spectacular, or be "extraordinary," or have a prestigious career to be a success. Our dreams may not be our own, authentic dreams at all.
by Lola Jones
I wrote this to a lovely woman in my Mentoring program who has suffered over her one book not being published. The suffering is the key that something is off and needs to change.
You may be surprised to hear me say this: We are often encouraged to aspire to illusions, dreams, and ideals that we can never reach. We are told that you can be, do, or have anything. But that simply is not true.
We CAN have so much, such a rich and wonderful life, more than plenty... but to expect that we can have ANYTHING and EVERYTHING we wish for?
No. Uh uh.
Is It an authentic Dream or just a fantasy?
No matter how much I'd love to, I will never be a famous singer or a clever romance novelist. God gave me gifts and talents, but not those.
If you're caught in the trap of ideas or dreams that have nothing to do with your true nature, ideals that were set up outside of you, it leads to disappointment and sadness, anger and frustration.
I can promise you this
You can be happy.
You can be happy no matter what you do or do not achieve.
So often when people want to "be somebody" they're actually trying to be somebody else. You already are somebody -- YOU. You can get better and better at being you, and have a grand adventure exploring who you are, but you can't fail at being you. Just keep evolving.
Life created you unique and valuable and that is that. You have nothing to prove and no one to compete with unless you wish to play those games.
If it's authentic you can't stop yourself
If an idea or aspiration is authentically you, you will not be able to STOP yourself from being it, doing it, having it. There may be obstacles and contrasts, but it will flow for you eventually.
If one is truly a writer she’s writing constantly. She can't stop herself. She doesn’t care if it's ever published. She simply has to write.
If one is meant to be a full time musician he can't stop himself from practicing, gigging, playing, writing songs.
If one is meant to be a spiritual counselor she just can’t stop herself from helping people. She’s constantly uplifting people and telling them about what she does.
If something’s not coming to you, if it’s not your authentic calling, then forcing it causes suffering.
be more of what you are
The Gallup organization conducted studies that proved beyond all doubt that companies waste time and money when they focus on training to fix employees' weaknesses. It didn't work to try to train employees to get better in areas where they had no natural aptitude.
The most success came when the training built on strengths - when they trained employees to improve their existing talents. For example it worked better to train those who already liked working with people to be excellent managers, while it was difficult to impossible to teach analytical software engineers to become excellent people managers.
In other words, don't try to become what you're not. Find your natural talents and focus on developing those further.
The experience is precious
Perhaps it was just the experience of writing that book or song or painting that painting that was key for you.
Or perhaps the value was in the enjoyment, evolution, insight, and accomplishment you got from doing it. Or the delicious momentum you felt while getting better at it.
My husband Scott just started teaching himself guitar at age 67. He set up a whole music room and gets tremendous joy from practicing the guitar and singing for hours every day, but he could turn it into a devastating pit of depression if he decided he had to become a professional musician. He fantasizes about it in a way that feels pleasurable right now, but doesn't hang any happiness on it coming true.
What does your heart want to do with these ideals you've been pursuing? Work on your aspiration more, and enjoy evolving the skills, or let it go and do something easier, more natural, thus more fulfilling?
How do you find what’s fulfilling for YOU?
By experimenting, by following your joy, by feeling for the flow and following it.
By following those nudges that may not make sense in the moment. By having fun and letting the wind take you to unexpected places. By trying new things and being willing to be bad at it at first try.
By doing what you're already good at and getting even better at it. But you may not value what's easy for you...
We discount what's effortless for us
People can dismiss their true calling because it seems too easy, so "it can't be that valuable." They often think anyone can do it, but NOT everyone can do what you do so easily that you take it for granted. You may feel like if it'd be more valuable it was difficult and required more blood, sweat, and tears. You may have bought into the "nothing worth having comes easy" saying.
But who decided what’s important and valuable? Was it you? Are you sure it was your idea? Was it society? Your peers? Your teachers? Your parents? TV? Social media?
School teachers are super important. Mothers are super important. Clerks are super important. Mechanics are super important. Where would we be without janitors and garbage collectors?
These people who say everyone needs to become a millionaire and be famous and extraordinary (by whose standards anyway?) are full of it. I never wanted to be some big deal. I just couldn’t stop doing what I was born to do!!! I didn’t become a teacher to be somebody - I became who I am. Getting the word out allows me to keep doing it, so I dived in and learned to do that too.
Our culture doesn’t tell us this little secret, “Hey, you can throw all those ideals and dreams that are making you unhappy out the window, and instead explore who YOU already quite naturally and authentically are!” You can instantly be free from society’s definitions, status seeking, and inflated expectations.
What if you were to be super kind to yourself, let go of other people’s ideas of who you should be, and value yourself just for being? What if you were to do what you want? Or not do anything?
What would happen if you dropped any expectations of what you’re supposed to achieve and ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE.
To smell, sense, see, feel, touch LIFE.
To be a joy seeking missile.
Much love and being,